Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: The Indian government has launched a WhatsApp chatbot called 'MyGov Corona Helpdesk' to help address queries around the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus chatbot is meant to spread awareness about the basic hygiene practices around the virus.

The chatbot has been developed and implemented by Jio Haptik Technologies Limited, a conversational AI platform and a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).

With WhatsApp user base in India crossing over 400 million, this is a medium to route basic hygiene practices around the virus, the company said in a statement.

One can access the WhatsApp chatbot by sending a message to the number +91 9013151515.

Equipped with verified data from the Ministry of Health, the WhatsApp chatbot can resolve frequently asked questions pertaining to the novel coronavirus. This includes necessary precautionary measures, symptoms, correct and incorrect facts, helpline numbers, affected cases in the region, government advisories (including travel), informational videos etc.

Read: Google Removing Fake Coronavirus-Related Videos From YouTube: Sundar Pichai

The idea is to have the right information at the touch of a button while preventing the spread of this pandemic across the country by following basic hygiene practices, said the company.

Bengaluru College Students Develop Mobile Apps To Help Tackle COVID-19 Crisis

Meanwhile, engineering students of Sona College of Technology, Salem and engineers from Vee Technologies, Bengaluru on Saturday announced they have created two apps to help the country tackle the growing new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

One app called 'Corona-Scan' proactively allows public health officials to map individuals who were in close proximity with a possibly infected or active coronavirus patient.

The second is a corresponding user app, 'Corona-Support,' that asks the public for their voluntary registration.

If an individual tests positive a voluntary status update can be entered in the app, helping health authorities and experts tracking the spread of the virus get accurate information.

"The third-year engineering students of Sona College of Technology -- Bernotsha, Aravind Kumar and Naveen Kumar -- under guidance of professor Akilandeswari J and engineering team of Vee Technologies have built robust app pair 'Corona-Scan' and 'Carona-Support' in a matter of days. This will go a long way to contain spread of Covid-19," ChockoValliappa, CEO, Vee Technologies, said in a statement.

By tracking and recording people within 3 to 5 metres every two minutes, the 'Carona-Scan' app generates live data of people in close proximity to one another.

By mapping people who may have been infected and risk infecting others, public health officials can identify and take appropriate action to connect with them over the phone and keep them under observation, isolation or recommend testing.

The 'Carona-Scan' app identifies how many times an individual has been in close proximity to the infected person in the designated period.

While the 'Corona-Scan' app will be available to the public health officials, the 'Carona-Support' app can soon be downloaded from Google Play Store.

The apps, to be entered in the COVID-19 innovative app competition announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, can run on any smartphone.

"The success of the two apps lies in rapidly growing the number of users voluntarily. More the number of users the better the chances of breaking the chain of community spread," said Valliappa.

(With Agency Inputs)

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